On the 16th tee box of Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course, I noticed some tiny webs draped on a naked shrub. This tree is Capparis decidua, commonly known as karira. In the subcontinent its fruit is used to make pickles. Unfortunately the tree was totally winter ridden, and on top of that, a bunch of spider webs were mushrooming on its branches. In the absence of leaves, the webs were trying to fill the gaps. No doubt the webs attracted onlookers’ eyes and added a lot to the ambience and overall look of the tree. In reality, I was observing a takeover in progress. Earth witnesses innumerable takeovers and replacements during each changing season.
This planet is home to so many life forms — from dust they come and to dust they will return.
This tree was surrounded by more evergreen trees and some lush grass. It was a perfect example of natural coexistence. On the same spot, some of these organisms are dry and some are bright. On the same soil, some hibernate while others walk free. What a sequence of survival. Instead of hitting the one wood shot, most of us began to take pics of this eye-catching corner.
Man’s relationship with plants is nothing new. It stretches from the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden to the burning bush at Mount Horeb. It further includes the Rose of Sharon and the gopher wood of Noah’s Ark.
Plants have always played a vital role in the development of civilizations. They were important then — but they’re even more important today as they are essential to human survival.
The revolution began when humans learned about botany. That changed the landscape of the earth on a massive scale. Centuries of deforestation across the globe provided human beings with huge farm lands, cultivation, roads, cities and sprawling metropolises, thus replacing trees with concrete. That has already caused irreparable damage to the environment of this planet. And the practice continues. Industrialization further added to the escalating pollution levels, heightening gas emissions. And it wasn’t only the earth but also the skies that got polluted with space debris and damaged ozone. We urgently need to redefine our relationship with forests and plants.
“Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.”
We took the shots and proceeded towards the greens. This small tree said so much to me in such a brief time. I am already planning to visit my family farm this spring and plant some trees and flowers. Spring is approaching soon. I invite you all to sow a seed, plant a tree or grow flowers in your backyard. We must reciprocate the carbon we contribute to this planet with newer sources of oxygen.
Not just for the environment but also for the ambience of our surroundings, too. Our kids can hang their swings on that tree. Some birds will appreciate the shelter and someone can seek shade from the scorching sun. You may find some dancing squirrels in your backyard or perhaps even hear a nightingale sing near your window.
“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.”
Mr. Shahbaz Malik, image & research
Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course
Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel.
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